Physicians should avoid QR codes in marketing efforts.
The Problem with QR Codes
As mobile-phone browsers become even faster, the need to utilize a quick response code, commonly referred to as a QR code, is almost obsolete. You will recognize QR codes as the ubiquitous black-and-white graphic images with small squares on a variety of products and in magazine ads. They are even appearing in unusual places like tombstones. But have YOU ever used one? If you have, you’re among the 19 percent of individuals in the United States who have ever done so.
Using QR codes requires multiple steps
Originally designed in 1994 by Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave to track components and vehicles as they were assembled for Toyota, QR codes are like bar codes but provide more data. The problem is that both bar codes and QR codes must be scanned after downloading an app on your smart phone. You have to find the app, download it, scan the code and then visit the link provided. By contrast, a website address or a quick Google search will save time.
QR codes don’t allow engagement
Healthcare is an intensely personal business and you are governed by HIPAA rules on ways to market to potential patients. Clients that approach you via a website contact form or a phone call are welcoming additional input and providing data, and they are ready to engage with you in a two-way conversation. QR codes are a one-way transaction and you cannot gather any information about the user.
The black-and-white squares clutter your advertising, brochures and website. Readers need visual relief with white space so they can direct their attention to the most important information. Why add QR codes for them to consider when you already have their attention?
Healthcare providers do not need a QR code to show potential patients that they are tech-savvy. Rather, they should use technology to provide the best treatment available and to reduce the burdens associated with educating potential and current patients, gathering information, managing a medical practice and enhancing efficiency. If you would like to learn how technology can enhance your outreach efforts, contact Catalyst Healthcare Marketing. We’ll explain why one of the few growth markets for QR codes is on tombstones – where it’s too late for client engagement.